Windsor, VT – Sprinkler system assists firefighters in bringing large warehouse fire under control

The alarm and sprinkler systems inside a large warehouse at the Windsor Technology Park helped prevent the flames from a fire on Saturday morning from damaging any of the nearly 300 vehicles stored there, co-owner of the park Alan Cummings said on Monday. “We have a sophisticated alarm and sprinkler system so it was caught quickly,” Cummings said. “The furnace was destroyed but nothing else. The fire department did a great job.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but fire officials said it started in the elevated furnace in one corner of the building. Windsor Fire Chief Kevin McAllister said when the first crews arrived just past 11 a.m. and opened the doors to warehouse, they saw a “large amount of fire,” but were uncertain of its origin. McAllister said it took about 15-20 minutes to knock down the fire and get it under control; they were able to contain it to the oil-fired furnace.

He said flames did not damage any of the vehicles, which included large RVs, campers, boats and antique automobiles, but there was a lot of thick black smoke throughout the building for a couple of hours and that may have caused some damage. “That stuff can get into anything,” McAllister said. The chief also said a fuel oil line to the furnace ruptured and was spilling oil from a 30,000-gallon underground tank. Some of that oil got outside the building, and officials with the state Agency of Natural Resources were at the park on Monday to meet with Cummings.

“We are assessing the amount of cleanup today,” Cummings said, estimating that only a small amount of oil made it outside the building. The northern end of the affected building where most of the vehicles are stored, is about 65,000 square feet, said Cummings, who owns the park with Hunter Banbury. The entire storage area is around 90,000 square feet, he said. McAllister said the call started out as a “box alarm” but ended up going to a second alarm, bringing in departments from West Windsor, Ascutney, Springfield, Hartland and Hartford. Cummings said the park will replace the furnace and the sprinkler system.

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